Flametongue

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Flametongue by Ed Greenwood

 

“They’ll fly right at your face, mind, and spit flame at you just as you get your sword up for a proper hack. Then you’ll still be choking and blinded when they bite your throat!”


Also known as “flamespews,” these small, slender flying snakes dwell in caverns, rocky hills, dungeons, and other damp, dark places. They are encountered alone, in mated pairs, or in small family hunting “flights” of a dozen or less.

A flametongue is a mauve, purple, mottled brown, or red-hued snake with a long pink forked tongue, a pointed (but harmless) tail, two tiny foreclaws, and a pair of batlike wings. It has tiny sharp teeth, is omnivorous, and is more curious than prudent, but swift-tempered, often attacking much larger and more formidable creatures.

A flametongue darts at a foe, aiming for its face or throat (if the intended victim has such obvious creatures; eyes are a favorite target). It will bite and claw—and if angered or it judges the victim dangerous, it will spit out a brief but hot and spectacular jet of flame (ingested air mixed with stomach gases, and ignited by sparks emitted by the snake’s back teeth), aiming for eyes, faces, or hands.

An average adult flametongue is about two feet long, with a three-foot wingspan, and can breathe five times in swift succession (the fourth gout of flame will do paltry damage, and the fifth is barely more than a flicker).

The snake then needs to recuperate for a day or so before it can spit flame again—unless it can ingest alcohol of any sort, which instantly rekindles its flame. Given access to enough alcohol, a flametongue can jet flame forever. The nature of its internal chemistry is such that it never gets drunk and can keenly and unerringly smell alcohol, no matter how disguised or contained, with about the same range as average human eyesight.

Immature flametongues are physically smaller and can spit flame less often than adults. They don’t willingly leave their parents until fully grown, and until that time hunt in a family group, heeding screamed commands (to human ears, shrill and short trills and squeaks) from parents and siblings. Flametongue families fight as coordinated units, attacking lone foes from several directions at once (aiming to disable without any flametongue being injured), and swarming multiple foes in “hit and run” strikes that as much as possible avoid tarrying where foes can launch return attacks.

The daily diet of flametongues is dominated by insects, berries, and other fruit (not necessarily ripe), but some have adopted humans (notably peddlers, caravan merchants, and acrobatic thieves) as pets, and eat everything their human friends do. In a pinch, they will eat lichen and scavenge carrion; the only fare they will refuse is each other.

Every generation of flametongues produces a handful of mutants: giant flametongues as long as a big man stands tall. Known as “flametongue lords,” these become rulers among the snakes, and often notorious human- and livestock-killers. They are wary predators and bullies.


13th AGE

Flametongue

These winged snake-like beasts hunt in extended family units, preferring the safety of hit-and-run tactics. They can crave alcohol and can smell it from miles away.

Level 2 Leader [Beast]

Initiative: +11

Hot little teeth, quick little claws +13 vs. AC—7 damage and the flametongue gains a cumulative +2 to the next disengage check it makes.

Natural 16+ hit or miss: The flametongue grants another flametongue engaged with this enemy a free disengage check.

C: Flame Gout +12 vs. PD (1d3 nearby enemies in a group)—5 fire damage and all flametongues engaged with the target may pop free.

Miss: If the flametongue misses twice in a battle its flame goes out. It must drink alcohol to refuel or wait a day before it can use flame gout again.

Flying: The flametongue is an aerial acrobat, able to twist and turn in the air to remain in place, or dart quickly between enemies.

AC 21

PD 16        HP 14

MD 12 

 

Elder Flametongue

Level 3 Leader [Beast]

Initiative: +12

Ripping Furnace +14 vs. AC—10 damage.

Natural 16+ hit or miss: The flametongue may make a flame gout attack as a free action, but must include the enemy it is engaged with as one of the targets.

C: Flame Gout +13 vs. PD (1d3 nearby enemies in a group)—7 fire damage and all flametongue engaged with the target pop free.

Miss: If the flametongue misses three times in a battle its flame goes out. It must drink alcohol to refuel or wait a day before it can use flame gout again.

Flying: The flametongue is an aerial acrobat, able to twist and turn in the air to remain in place, or dart quickly between enemies.

AC 22

PD 17        HP 24

MD 13 

PATHFINDER

Flametongue CR 3

N Small [Magical Beast][Temperate][Underground/Dungeon]
800XP
Init: +7 Senses: Scent, Perception +11

Defense:

AC: 19 (+1 size, +5 Dex, +3 Natural) Touch: 11 Flat-footed: 14
HP: 13 (2d10+2)
Fort: +5 Ref: +8 Will: +2

Offense:

Speed: 15ft.; 60ft. flying
Melee: Bite: +6 (2d6+1) 2 claws: +5 (1d6+1)
Special Attack: Breath Weapon (30ft cone, 2d6 fire damage, Reflex DC 17 for half, usable every 1d4 rounds up to 3 times per encounter)
Space: 5 ft. Reach: 5 ft.

Statistics:

Str: 8 Dex: 20 Con: 15 Int: 2 Wis: 12 Cha: 4
Base Attack: +5 CMB: +4 CMD: 19
Feats: Flyby Attack, Ability Focus
Skills: Fly +2, Perception, +11
Languages: None
SQ: Pack Mentality

Ecology:

Environment: Temperate Dungeons/Ruins & Underground
Organization: Pack: 4-6 Nest: 8-12
Treasure: 4 bottles of strong alcohol

Special Abilities:

Pack Mentality: If multiple Flametongues are engaged in melee combat with an enemy, and one of them uses a Claw attack, roll 1d20. On a result of 16+, one Flametongue can move away from the enemy without provoking an attack of opportunity.

SAVAGE WORLDS

Flametongue
Abilities: Agility d10, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d8, Strength d4, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d4, Stealth d6, Survival d6
Pace: 5, Parry: 5, Toughness: 4
Special Abilities:
* Flight: The Flametongue has a Flying Pace of 8 squares, with a Climb of 4 squares.
* Jet of Flame: As an action, the Flametongue may breathe a small jet of flame on an adjacent target. If the Flametongue wins an opposed Agility trait check, the target suffers 2d6 damage and must check to see if they catch fire (see Fire in the core rulebook). The Flametongue may use its Jet of Flame four times a day before sputtering out (the fourth use only inflicts 2d4 damage.) After that, the Flametongue must rest a full day or drink alcohol to recharge this ability.
* Natural Weapons: One bite (Str+d4) and one pair of claws (Str; counts as one attack). The Flametongue may attack with both bite and claw as a single action.
* Size-1

Immature Flametongue
Abilities: Agility d10, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d8, Strength d4, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Notice d4, Stealth d6, Survival d4
Pace: 5, Parry: 4, Toughness: 3
Special Abilities:
* Flight: The Immature Flametongue has a Flying Pace of 8 squares, with a Climb of 4 squares.
* Jet of Flame: As an action, the Immature Flametongue may breathe a small jet of flame on an adjacent target. If the Immature Flametongue wins an opposed Agility trait check, the target suffers 2d6 damage and must check to see if they catch fire (see Fire in the core rulebook). The Immature Flametongue may use its Jet of Flame two times a day before sputtering out (the second use only inflicts 2d4 damage.) After that, the Immature Flametongue must rest a full day or drink alcohol to recharge this ability.
* Natural Weapons: One bite (Str)
* Size-2
* Small: Attackers subtract 2 from any attack rolls directed at small creatures.

Flametongue Lord
Abilities: Agility d10, Smarts d6(A), Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Survival d6
Pace: 5, Parry: 6, Toughness: 6
Hindrances: Arrogant
Special Abilities:
* Flight: The Flametongue Lord has a Flying Pace of 8 squares, with a Climb of 4 squares.
* Jet of Flame: As an action, the Flametongue Lord may breathe a small jet of flame on an adjacent target. If the Flametongue Lord wins an opposed Agility trait check, the target suffers 2d6 damage and must check to see if they catch fire (see Fire in the core rulebook). The Flametongue Lord may use its Jet of Flame four times a day before sputtering out (the fourth use only inflicts 2d4 damage.) After that, the Flametongue Lord must rest a full day or drink alcohol to recharge this ability.
* Natural Weapons: One bite (Str+d6) and one pair of claws (Str+d4; counts as one attack). The Flametongue Lord may attack with both bite and claw as a single action.

SWORDS & WIZARDRY

Flametongue
Hit Dice/HP: 1d6 or 2d6 / 3hp or 6hp
Armor Class: 7 [13]
Attacks: 2 claws (1d2/1d2), 1 bite (1d6)
Combat Movement: 30', flying 60' (AA: level IV)
Special: Flame Gout
Saving Throw: 17
Alignment: Neutrality
Challenge Level/XP: 2/20

Flame Gout: The flametongue aims for its enemy's face and spits out a burst of sticky flame. This gout of flame deals damage equal to the flametongue's hit points (save halves this amount). An adult flametongue can spit a gout of flame up to four times per day. Each time this attack is used, reduce the damage dealt by 1d2. A juvenile flametongue (with only 1 HD) can use this ability only once daily. Drinking alcohol fully recharges a flametongue's ability to breathe fire.

Treasure: 1d6 bottles of alcoholic beverages

Flametongue Lord
Hit Dice/HP: 3d6 / 11hp
Armor Class: 5 [16]
Attacks: 2 claws (1d4/1d4), 1 bite (1d8)
Combat Movement: 30', flying 40' (AA: level II)
Special: Jet of Flame
Saving Throw: 16
Alignment: Neutrality
Challenge Level/XP: 3/76

Jet of Flame: The flametongue aims for its enemy's face and spits out a burst of sticky flame. This gout of flame deals damage equal to the flametongue's hit points (save halves this amount). An adult flametongue can spit a gout of flame up to six times per day. Each time this attack is used, reduce the damage dealt by 1d2. Drinking alcohol fully recharges a flametongue's ability to breathe fire.

Treasure: 2d8x10 gp, 1d6 bottles of alcoholic beverages

OSRIC

Flametongue
Frequency: Common
No. Encountered: 1d12
Size: Small
Combat Movement: 30', flying 60' (AA: level IV)
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice/HP: 1d6 or 2d6 / 3hp or 6hp
Attacks: 2 claws, 1 bite
Damage: 1d2/1d2/1d6
Special Attacks: Flame Gout
Special Defenses: Nil
Lair Probability: 25%
Intelligence: Animal
Alignment: Neutral
Level/XP: 2 / 15+1/hp

Flame Gout: The flametongue aims for its enemy's face and spits out a burst of sticky flame. This gout of flame deals damage equal to the flametongue's hit points (save vs. breath weapons halves this amount). An adult flametongue can spit a gout of flame up to four times per day. Each time this attack is used, reduce the damage dealt by 1d2. A juvenile flametongue (with only 1 HD) can use this ability only once daily. Drinking alcohol fully recharges a flametongue's ability to breathe fire.

Treasure: 1d6 bottles of alcoholic beverages


Flametongue Lord
Frequency: Rare
No. Encountered: 1 + 1d8 flametongues
Size: Medium
Combat Movement: 30', flying 40' (AA: level II)
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice/HP: 3d6 / 11hp
Attacks: 2 claws, 1 bite
Damage: 1d4/1d4/1d8
Special Attacks: Jet of Flame
Special Defenses: Nil
Lair Probability: 50%
Intelligence: Animal
Alignment: Neutral
Level/XP: 3 / 65+2/hp

Jet of Flame: The flametongue aims for its enemy's face and spits out a burst of sticky flame. This gout of flame deals damage equal to the flametongue's hit points (save vs. breath weapons halves this amount). An adult flametongue can spit a gout of flame up to six times per day. Each time this attack is used, reduce the damage dealt by 1d2. Drinking alcohol fully recharges a flametongue's ability to breathe fire.

Treasure: 2d8x10 gp, 1d6 bottles of alcoholic beverages